Luke Bryan is by far one of the biggest stars in country music. From his 2007 debut with “All My Friends Say,” to now being one of the biggest entertainers in the genre, it seems his career has always been on the rise. Fans love him for his soulful country voice and funny personality, and he’s not afraid to give people a look into his real life. However, even with how open he is, there still may be some things people don’t know about the country giant. Here are 10 things you may not know about Luke Bryan.
- Luke is not his real name.
Luke Bryan is a household name by now, but it turns out the three-time Entertainer of the Year award winner isn’t even named Luke. His real name is Thomas Luther Bryan. “Luke” is certainly shorter and may be easier to remember, so that could be why he changed his name. He is named after his father, Tommy Bryan, and he gave his first son the family name as well, naming him Thomas Boyer “Bo” Bryan.
2. He was a hit songwriter before becoming an artist.
Anyone who has listened to country music for a while will most likely remember Billy Currington’s 2006 hit, “Good Directions.” The folksy song told a story about a country guy who ran into a “Hollywood” type of woman asking for directions. He wanted to make a move, but instead, he just gave her directions and let her be on her way. However, the twist at the end of the song reveals that he actually gave her directions to his mother’s store, and she gave the woman directions right back to him. The song was written by Bryan, which, to most country fans, probably didn’t mean much at the time. However, we were all introduced to him the next year when he released his debut single, “All My Friends Say,” in 2007.
3. He grew up on a unique farm.
Luke Bryan is as country as they come: he’s a Georgia boy, he has a distinct southern accent, and he grew up on a farm. However, he didn’t grow up on a farm that produced corn or livestock or something more common — he grew up on a peanut farm. Bryan’s farming upbringing often makes its way into his music in song such as “We Rode In Trucks,” “Rain Is A Good Thing,” “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day” and more. These days, Bryan pays tribute to his youth by visiting small farming communities just like his on his Farm Tour every year.
4. He once got hit by a car.
Bryan once mentioned briefly that he was hit by a car as a child. He told US Weekly that the accident happened when he was in the second grade. He didn’t give any details as to what happened or if he sustained any injuries, but luckily, he seems to have turned out just fine.
5. He has a business degree.
Before Bryan made the trek to Nashville to follow his dreams, he went to college at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. He was part of the Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated in 1999 with a business administration degree. While Bryan certainly won’t be applying for any business-related jobs anytime soon, his time in college proved useful for allowing him to spread his musical wings.
6. He and his wife have a great love story.
Bryan met his wife Caroline while in college in 1998 at a bar called Dingus Magee’s. Luke was a senior and Caroline was a freshman, and the two dated for a little while, but when Luke graduated and moved to Nashville, they lost touch. The two ended up running into each other again five and a half years later, and they reunited.
“I was playing a little bar in Statesboro and she just happened to kinda be in town,” Bryan told HuffPost of their reunion. “We kinda saw each other and talked a little bit and then started emailing back and forth a little bit. And she was like, ‘Hey, you want to come to my family’s Christmas party?’ I went to the party and the rest is history.”
7. He took in his nieces and nephew.
While Bryan has had a great amount of success in his music career, he has endured a lot of tragedy in his personal life. He lost his brother, Chris, before he moved to Nashville, and his sister, Kelly, passed away unexpectedly in 2007. When Kelly’s husband and Bryan’s brother-in-law, Ben, died in 2014, Luke took it upon himself to take care of the couple’s three children, including two older nieces and his nephew, Til. The kids became part of their immediate family, and Til can often be seen hanging out with Luke’s two sons on the singer’s socials.
8. He owns a lot of animals.
Bryan and his family have a farm on their property called Brett’s Barn, which was started in memory of their late niece, Sadie Brett Boyer. The farm has been home to many animals, including chickens, llamas, horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, dogs and even a couple of kangaroos. It was also reported that Bryan owned an exotic red stag, an animal native to Europe and Asia, but the animal was unfortunately shot by someone passing by the property last winter. Caroline often shows off the many animals in their care on her Instagram account and on the official Brett’s Barn account.
9. He and his wife are pranksters.
Luke and his wife Caroline are big fans of pulling pranks and have documented countless on their social media pages. Most recently, the couple had themselves a bit of a prank war that started with Luke scaring Caroline off her bike after playing the loud sound of a train horn. Caroline soon got him back by hiding in a kitchen cupboard and scaring him when he walked in, causing him to jump and spill his drink. Other pranks include Caroline deploying a fake fart smell at a restaurant, the couple making Luke’s mom think a crazy fan was after him, and Caroline pretending to be a mannequin at Luke’s Nashville store.
10. He’s a Michael Jackson fan.
While Luke Bryan is as country as they come and grew up listening to the greats of country music, he’s appreciative of other genres as well. Luke once told US Weekly that he’s quite a fan of Michael Jackson. In fact, Jackson’s Thriller album was the first album Bryan ever bought.